Brask, Hans

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Swedish bishop and opponent of Lutheranism; b. 1464; d. Danzig, July 30, 1538 or 1539. He studied in Rostock and Griefswald. In 1510 he was provost of the cathedral and then (1513) bishop of Linköping, where he was exceptionally able and zealous, promoting scholasticism, and writing chronicles (now lost). In the national revolt against Denmark he supported Gustavus Vasa, but he opposed the introduction of Lutheran doctrines by the Petersson (Petri) brothers. In 1522 he threatened to excommunicate anyone bringing in Luther's writings, in 1523 he accused Olaus petri of heresy, and he continued to denounce Petri, despite the king's displeasure. After breaking with Rome over annates (1524), the impecunious Gustavus in 1526 attacked church property, particularly Brask's wealthy see, and he gave Uppsala's press to Petri. The climax came at txhe diet of Västerås (1527). As spokesman for the bishops, Brask refused to surrender clerical properties or to authorize a doctrinal disputation. Nevertheless, the diet deprived the bishops of power and property, subjected the Church to royal control, and virtually established Lutheranism. Brask preferred exile at Danzig to submission.

Bibliography: Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, ed. j. a. almquist et al. (Stockholm 1917) 6:4565. h. jÁcerstad, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg 195765) 2:653.

[j. t. graham]